When a Dog’s Bite is Worse Than its Bark
Nicknamed, man’s best friend, dogs have earned a status above “pet” in the homes of many. They are the choice adventure partner, the perfect lounging companion, and the first to welcome you home each evening. It’s easy to see why so many adore canines of all shapes, sizes, and personalities. However, dogs, while often associated with human characteristics, are still animals. And though typically, they are genuinely kind creatures, they are capable of causing serious harm.
Dog bites will render painful, costly, and traumatizing consequences. And they are no rarity. Take precaution when petting a dog that you do not know and always ask for the owner’s permission beforehand. Check out these three cases of dog bite victims for a closer look at the consequences.
- In 2017, 5-year-old Gabriella Gonzalez, waited for a flight out of Portland International Airport when she was mauled in the face by a pit bull. The dog, claimed to be an emotional support animal, was not contained in a crate, kennel, or anything of the like, violating the rules of the Portland airport. Now, its owner, Michelle Brannan, the Port of Portland, and Alaska Airlines are responsible for the little girl’s injuries. The recent lawsuit suggests that each acted negligently in handling this violent dog. Ms. Brannan is found to have known of her pet’s aggressive nature while the airport and the airline failed to enforce its own rules against uncrated pets that are not trained service or law enforcement animals. This lawsuit demands $100,000 in economic damages from the injuries inflicted upon Gonzalez’s muscles, tendons, bones, and soft tissue of her face. An additional $1 million in non-economic damages is demanded for the trauma she endured.
- In 2012, a vicious dog bite was caught on live TV. Denver news anchor, Kyle Dyer, was interviewing the owner and firefighter of a dog that was miraculously saved from an iced-over pond the previous day. The Argentine Mastiff named Max, who also made an appearance on the news show, sat calmly as the three discussed his rescue. However, once Dyer kneeled down to pet Max and give him a kiss on the nose, his calm demeanor changed. The dog abruptly bit the interviewer in the face, leaving a gash that would require 70 stitches and extensive reconstructive surgeries. Despite the debate over who was to blame for the accident, Dyer received loving support from her local fans.
- Just last month, Beth Storm and her husband of Greenville, left for a casual walk with their dog Max when two pit bulls attacked them. The two dogs broke from the fence enclosure and charged the non-provoking walkers. Unfortunately, Max, a much smaller dog, was killed while his owners suffered injuries to their hands and arms. Though they have since recovered from their wounds, the two are traumatized and in mourning for their beloved pet. This incident, however, has sparked conversation and a demand for change. The couple now implores others to take action in the instance of a dog attack. They offered this advice: 1.) Contact the police and make sure to take pictures and document every detail. 2.) The victim’s first line of defense is the insurance of the dog’s owner. This person is ultimately responsible. 3.) If a lawyer handles the case, it will fall under the Animal Care and Control Act. This will require that the victim prove whether or not the dog was provoked to attack. And 4.) the incident should be reported to Animal Control for the animal’s records.
Dog bites can cause severe injury and lasting trauma. If you own a dog, make sure always to walk them on a leash, abide by pet-related rules and to communicate to others who are unfamiliar with your dog. Your dog is your responsibility. And if you are the victim of a dog bite, make sure to seek legal assistance if needed. We at Peach and Weathers are prepared to seek justice in dog bite-related incidents.